POWER OF TOLERANCE AND UNDERSTANDING

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The ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with, is called tolerance.

Being tolerant of each other and caring for each other is what makes us human. By teaching tolerance, we allow individuality and diversity and promoting peace for our community. Our success, in the struggle of intolerance, depends on the efforts we make to educate ourselves and others including our children.

Is tolerance a value?

Tolerance between people makes it possible for conflicting claims of beliefs, values and ideas to co-exist as long as they fit within acceptable moral values. Tolerant people always value the individual, his or her independence and freedom of choice.

Does unlimited tolerance work:

If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them per se.

We should consider that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder or to kidnapping.

We need not be in a hurry to condemn others, because they do not do what you do or think as you do. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today. Please give margin to these people as they are also on the learning curve, like you in the past.

Never judge someone by the way he looks:

There’s a lot to be discovered. We try to judge people- in the first instance- by their looks and immediate behaviour. While having interaction with others, very often we do think, about the importance and necessity of tolerance in our respective lives.

Education leads to tolerance in most of the cases. Intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogance, impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility, beyond an iota of doubt.

Tolerance is the ability or willingness to bear something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with. The meaning of tolerance to me is to just accept that you have the same right to your life choices as others have to.

Tolerance pave the way to a better understanding:

Tolerance benefits us to accept/ understand others as our co-inhabitants on the earth. For me, understanding means that although I may not like or agree with everything others do or say, but they deserve a difference of opinion. Every difference of opinion should be respected.

We need to be tender down the lane, all the time- with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the wrong.

We need to be a good listener:

We need to develop the ability to listen to each other and understand the reasons for the differences among us in our approach to life. We may not always agree, but by understanding the basis for differing ideas about various parts of our lives, we can find the common ground that enables us to work together for the good of all. We’ve all seen compassion and cooperation emerging in times of crisis for people around the world, but our challenge is to make that cooperative spirit the norm all of the time.

We need to understand each other:

we need to be less judgmental about others and try to accept others with their strengths and weaknesses to the extent possible within the moral limits.

It is not for you, me or others to judge another man’s life. We have the right to judge, choose, reject, purely for ourselves, not others. Think for a moment, sometimes in life, we all have been all of these. Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege of doing so too.

Our way may not be the only way. No religious belief, ideology or “pressing need” justifies the violation of another person’s basic human rights. If we do not respect other religion[s], then they will never respect ours. Instead of criticizing other religion[s] as below par/bad, we should say, my religion is ‘best of the best’. When every religion preacher/ follower says our religion is the best, then ALL RELIGIONS WILL BE THE BEST. Instead, what we are wrongly, and deliberating preaching is other religions are bad, so come to us. This is the reason, why we are in quagmire intolerance.

Every religious sacred book says that God is one, but still we keep on disliking people from other religions and some fanatics try to decimate those. If we start thinking about ourselves as cosmopolitans or a citizen of the world then most of the problems will vanish. We need to relate to people from all different cultural, religious, political, ethnic, economic, age, and gender backgrounds. That makes our living easier. Anyone with strong commonsense can easily understand it. Unfortunately, commonsense is very uncommon, in this present-day world. There are group of countries/ community / few people who do not want peace to prevail- as it suits their interests.

What is the solution:

In my opinion, tolerance is the key. Tolerance come out of education. Education is indeed crucial to global peace in the long run. Multiculturalism, higher order thinking skills and global peace should be incorporated into the curriculum explicitly everywhere.

Tolerance is a fair, objective, and permissive attitude towards those whose opinions, practices, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own. Tolerance only for those who agree with us is no tolerance at all.

Children need to be exposed to many different cultures, religions and world views. They need to develop analytical skills in order to differentiate objectivity from emotion and value judgments. Schools should pay a lot of attention to the hidden curriculum, as well. They must review their norms and assumptions about how teachers and students treat each other. Any kind of violence in everyday interactions is unacceptable. As an example, there should be zero tolerance for bullying. In religious schools [ like Madrasas], perhaps inter-faith dialogue experiences should be part of the curriculum.

Children need to learn that in the end, we are all the same. No one is better than anyone else. We just come from different places, but we are the children of the same omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent God.

Every religion says God is one. We call Him by different names only. If global peace is our goal, then we must be willing to elevate the importance of listening to each other with open, non-judgmental minds in the spirit of respect for—and even celebration of—our differences. 

Prof. Surinder Kochhar (Shaun)
LPN, FCN, M.Com, CAIIB, DIM A freelance writer with 36 Years Exp. A Health Coach of University of Victoria

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